PLDT, Smart now at final stretch of network transformation program
The country’s telecommunications leader Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) are now on the final stretch of their fast-tracked, nationwide PhP 67.1-billion network transformation program.
Once complete, the program is expected to benefit close to 50 million Smart subscribers all over the country, by further enhancing the reliability and quality of its wireless services, including SMS, call, and data services, and Internet access to even the most remote barrios and barangays.
This was disclosed at the sidelines of a courtesy call paid today by Eric Xu, Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Huawei, a leading global provider of commercial telecom networks, to Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT and Smart.
Huawei is one of the telco’s partners in the network initiative, and the courtesy call included a review of the program’s progress.
Fruitful network endeavor
“While the rest of the industry is just about to lay the groundwork, we’ve already passed the halfway mark of this landmark network undertaking,” said Orlando B. Vea, co-founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart.
Originally scheduled to run for three years after its launch in early 2011, the program is scheduled for completion by the middle of this year – taking only a total of a year and a half.
“Most importantly, our subscribers have already been enjoying the fruits of this endeavor, including superior voice connection and quality, quicker SMS delivery, enhanced data connection speeds, nationwide coverage, and zero downtime, especially in times of disasters,” added Vea.
The world’s strongest partners
To date, PLDT and Smart have modernized and optimized the network covering the entire Visayas and Mindanao areas, and Bicol in Luzon, with the rest of the country to follow soon. Aside from Huawei, PLDT and Smart are also working with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Network on the program.
“By tapping the individual strengths of the world’s three biggest network suppliers, we are able to ensure the efficient and timely progress of this initiative,” added Vea.
Once fully completed, PLDT and Smart also expect the transformation program to allow it to reach “blackout areas”, or places that used to have no broadband Internet access — enabling Internet penetration to even the most remote areas of the country.
The fiber edge
PLDT and Smart’s unique and superior matrix of 3G, Enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+), WiMax, and Long Term Evolution (LTE) covers wider distances and serves more users at any given time while allowing high-speed data access — making available high-speed mobile broadband in more parts of the country.
This matrix has the unique advantage of being supported by the country’s most extensive transport grid of fiber optic cables – or the system of ‘highways’ through which voice, SMS, and data go through.
To date, PLDT and Smart have over 45,000 kilometers of looped fiber optic cabling, fully covering mainland Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“We have clearly built the most advanced and superior network in the country. To us, all this translates to the best communication experience and mobile lifestyle for our subscribers,” said Vea.